Choosing A Tax Adviser: 10 Crucial Factors To Consider

Finding the right tax professional to give you advice on taxation matters is crucial. A tax professional will have all of the most up-to-date knowledge of taxation issues and will be able to ensure you are paying the correct amount of tax. 

It is crucial to vet a service thoroughly before you use them. Anyone can offer accounting or tax advisory services, even if unqualified. Ensuring you do your homework and look into the business you are considering is the best way to find a dependable, experienced and qualified professional. 

Find out how long they’ve been practicing

An excellent first question for any prospective tax adviser is how long they have been practicing. While a newly qualified tax adviser may offer excellent advice, many prefer to trust their finances to someone with significant experience. It would be best to consider how much experience you want your tax adviser to have early on. You can also look at their work history to get an idea of the kind of tax work they’ve done over the years. 

Check their professional qualifications

There are a range of professional qualifications that you can expect to find from a tax adviser. The qualifications that the professional you choose needs will often depend on your specific needs. It is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different qualifications available and understand what level of service each provides. You can then make a list of the qualifications the professional you choose should have. At a minimum, to become a financial adviser in the UK, you must achieve a ‘level 4’ diploma. To offer tax advice, this education must be even more specialised.

How investments are taxed will vary each year, with each update to the legislation which governs taxation. You’ll want an adviser who keeps abreast of the latest news and is at the cutting edge of interpretations of new rules.

Choose a company with excellent availability

Most accountants and tax advisers operate during regular working hours, and some offer out-of-hours assistance for those who find it hard to get to their offices during business hours. It is best to find a tax adviser with good availability if you are concerned that you will need their advice urgently outside of business hours. 

Ask for recommendations

An excellent way to find a reliable tax adviser is by asking for first-hand recommendations. You could ask friends, family or co-workers to find out who they use for complex tax concerns or specialist queries like capital gains tax on bitcoin and ethereum profits. You might be suggested some tax books, however, can you trust these to be up-to-date and incorporate the latest rules on such a fast-moving industry?

Another great way to check the trustworthiness of the tax accountants is by checking their website and their recommendations from governing bodies. Even online tax agents must be registered and monitored by government taxation offices to ensure the safety of your money. Check for reviews and membership logos from organisations, groups, and government offices to guarantee that your taxes are calculated and deducted correctly.

Consider your specialist needs

It can help to consider if you have any particular or specialist needs that your adviser will need to help you with. For instance, if you need help with the tax on freelancing work or cryptocurrency tax. Finding a professional with expertise in the right field can be invaluable, particularly for very complex issues like crypto tax. Have a look at the excellent services offered by Hodge Bakshi for more information on this fascinating and intricate tax issue. 

Check out their online reviews

Online reviews can help you get an idea of how a business operates. It is vital to ensure that you maintain a healthy level of skepticism when trusting online reviews. It can be best to look at the most recent reviews to get an idea of the business’s practices. 

Factor in cost

While you should always prioritize quality over cost, it can still be beneficial to find the best value for money in a tax adviser. It is important to note that often the most experienced and highly qualified professionals will be the more expensive. However, you are paying for the best possible advice and service. 

Assess their communications

It can be helpful to consider how accessible your chosen adviser is. Consider reaching out to a number of professionals and assess how responsive they are. You will be entrusting your finances to this person or company, so it is vital that they are reachable when you need them. 

Research their membership with governing bodies

It can help to find out if a professional is a member of a governing body. This can ensure that they are regulated to a high standard and adhere to a code of conduct. For tax and accounting professionals, it is a good idea to ensure they are a member of a body such as The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). Often a business will display their membership on their website, but it is also essential to check their status on the organization’s website. 

Ensure they have proper insurance

Any good financial professional will hold Professional Indemnity Insurance. This covers them if their advice causes harm to a client. It also enables you to sue them if you feel their level of service has been inadequate. 

Conclusion

Finding a reliable tax adviser is crucial for the health of your finances and your own peace of mind. It would help if you looked for an adviser with good experience, the best qualifications and who is easy to reach and accessible. They should also be able to explain to you in understandable terms what you need to do to manage and pay your taxes. It may help to shop around until you find the perfect fit.